Why Territorial Imperatives?

The title refers to the instinct in animals (including us) to defend a particular piece of turf. As you know, we’re often willing to die for our convictions. Maybe I’m not quite as drastic as that about music, but I feel strongly about it. And so a music blog called Territorial Imperatives that will stake a claim on some challenging opinions.

These guys aren't likely to agree to disagree.

These guys aren’t likely to agree to disagree.

I write this stuff because someone has to say it. If you want to read what I get paid to write, here I am at the New York Times, Car Talk, Mother Nature Network, Autoweek, Txchnologist, Success, the Advocate papers and PlugInCars.com. I was the editor of E/The Environmental Magazine for 12 years, and also edited some of the New Mass Media papers.

I got my start writing about music (Paste, Option, Blueswire, New Country Music), and so here I go again, right back at the beginning. The other thing you need to know about me is that I host a radio show, with frequent live music, on listener-supported WPKN-FM in Connecticut. WPKN is, along with New Jersey’s WFMU, one of the last bastions of free-form radio. No playlist, what a concept! The station pushes out 10,000 watts, but it also streams online, so click here to listen in.

What you’ll see here are short, punchy posts about music–jazz, blues, folk, Americana, singer-songwriters, some world stuff. I like all kinds of things, from John Coltrane and Archie Shepp to The Carter Family, Mike Seeger and Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers. Sure, you’ve heard Nick Drake, but what about David Francey? Might the best rock album ever made be Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band? But I tend to write about either very new or very old music.

I’m a critic–some of it will be tough. I’m like an animal with a piece of meat or, of course, demonstrating territorial imperative. Let me know what you think.

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